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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Letting God be God

“If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.” Jn 8:42

Jesus is our model for everything in life, but never more so than when he reminds us that he is never alone, that his father is with him always. We may not always feel the presence of God, especially when we are worried or fretting about matters we cannot control, but we must keep acting as if God is with us. The great saints in every religious tradition teach this consistently.

Ghandi counselled his followers not think of prayer as the work of the old or the weak, but as an act of submission to God and the food that strengthens us along the way. Rooted in this conviction, he writes: "Nothing is so aggravating as calmness." Committed to non violence, Ghandi knew he would be tempted to act aggressively, to abandon calmness, especially in defense of the poor and voiceless, but he reminds us, “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

Jesus does not fight the Jewish leaders or the Roman authorities who are committed to putting him to death, nor does he allow his followers to act violently in his defense. When Peter cuts off the ear of the high priest's servant, Jesus demands that Peter put his sword away because violence will only beget violence. That he must "drink the cup" of suffering is clear to him, and it should be clear to us. We can only endure unjust suffering if we remember always to call upon the One who has gifted us with faith and  demanded that we love our enemies.

Today, allow yourself to sit quietly surrounded by the great cloud of witnesses. (Heb 12:1)

What spiritual practices help you remember that God is always near?



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